The Force is with us.

The sun shone and thousands turned out to the classic car show in Ilkeston. The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct had a stall which was busy all day. There was overwhelming support for the project.

The force was clearly with us as notable visitors to our stall was Darth Vader accompanied by  Star Wars stormtroopers. We were even visited by petrolhead Stig who promised to  invest in a pushbike when Bennerley Viaduct reopens.

We heard many fascinating stories about the viaduct. It was empowering to experience the depth of support that this project is receiving from  the local community. Thanks to Jeff for organising the day and to Rich, Colin and Trevor for their sterling work promoting the viaduct.

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Volunteers needed for upcoming events

Ilkeston Market Stall. Saturday July 29. Can anyone offer an hour or two between about 9am and 1pm?

Heritage and Classic Vehicle Show. Ilkeston, Sunday 13 August, 10 am – 4pm. Can anyone offer an hour or two, including set-up and take down?

Victoria Park, Ilkeston, Opening Celebration. Sunday 20 August. Set-up from 1030. Finishes at 1pm. Volunteers needed please, including set-up and take down.

Festival of Water. Gallows Inn Playing Fields, Ilkeston. All day event, 26,27,28 August. Volunteers needed please, including set-up on 26 and take down on 28?

If you can help out on any of the above please contact Jeff Wynch on 0744 345 2908 or j.wynch@btinternet.com

Viaduct Workday – June 14th 2017

Scaffold being erected for repairs to abutment brickworks, digging out of pier 4 and visits from the Chief Executive of Heritage Lottery Fund, Ros Kerslake, Erewash Museum and Streetside who put up a banner made by the young people showcasing the viaduct.

“Every Little Helps” Bennerley Viaduct Exhibition goes to Tesco

With a weekly footfall of over 30,000 local shoppers,  both Sustrans and the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct  were  delighted when Tesco offered to host our exhibition over the months of June and July.  The scale model of the viaduct really caught the attention of shoppers as it was installed near the checkouts. The model of the viaduct brought back memories to many shoppers who retold stories of travelling over and playing under the viaduct in the days when steam trains ran out of Ilkeston.

Kieran Lee, Community Engagement Officer of the project is delighted with the response of the community and grateful to Tesco’s for their support for the project. He said “Displaying the Exhibition in Tescos is a brilliant way of engaging the local community with the project to reopen Bennerley Viaduct as a walking and cycling Trail. The response that we have had from the community has been truly magnificent. We hope to capture some of those important stories which are an important part of the viaduct’s rich history”

Angie Young, Community Champion for TESCO said “The Bennerley Viaduct is an important local landmark and we see this important work as a positive step to bringing community cohesion firstly through volunteering opportunities and also employment opportunities to a deprived community at a later date.   Angie added “This area is full of natural beauty and historic interest which will be opened up for both local people and those from farther afield.”

Have a look at the exhibition if you are going to Tescos – We are getting more leaflets printed and they should be in the store soon.

Forthcoming Workdays

There are two workdays which are coming up:

Workday 1. Saturday, June 3rd working underneath the viaduct. The barrier on Newtons Lane will be open. Start at 10:00 – finish at 3:00pm. Come for as long or as short as you can manage.  There will be a range of tasks which include:

  • Some vegetation removal near the brick abutment.
  • Digging out Pier base 4.
  • Digging out a pathway under the viaduct.
  • Pond digging – weather permitting)
  • Tree stump removal.

Tools provided but bring your spade if you have one.

Workday 2. Wednesday June 14th 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.  A midweek workday will take place to coincide with the visit of the Chief Executive of Heritage Lottery,  Ros Kerslake. Ros is interested in meeting volunteers and seeing the work that the volunteers have done to date.   She will be at the viaduct at some time between 11:30am and  12:30 pm. I realise that many of you will working but the visit will enable us to demonstrate the fantastic amount of work that has been achieved over the last two years.  It would be really helpful if you could e mail me kieran.lee@sustrans.org.uk and let me know whether you can attend the Wednesday event as I need to plan the session and know how many will be attending. Tools provided but bring a spade if you have one.

Enjoy a day working, talking and enjoying the fresh air knowing you are making a real difference.